Basic Need Resources

Food Assistance: SNAP benefits

SNAP- the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,

is the federal nutrition program implemented by state governments (formerly known as food stamps) and provides funds to help eligible individuals purchase food at grocery stores.

Ohio SNAP benefits can provide up to $281 or more a month on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is used like a debit card, that can be spent on groceries. The card uses money that is preloaded onto their card from the individual's SNAP account.

General Eligibility

Anyone can check Ohio SNAP eligibility at

Non-citizen Eligibility
Children of Non-citizen Individuals

Children who were born in the U.S. are eligible for SNAP, regardless of their parent's status, if they meet other eligibility criteria.

How to Apply

You can apply for Ohio SNAP benefits online at or call 1-844-640-6446.

For more information about SNAP, visit or click here.

Need Help Applying for Snap?

Contact to get connected to assistance or click here for more information about SNAP.

Food Assistance: Food Pantries

Cats' Cupboard Food Pantry- Athens Campus

The Cats' Cupboard Food Pantry is located in Baker University Center (Room 514) and provides students access to fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable food options. Cats' Cupboard offers students to pick up free food/groceries up to twice a month by appointment.

How to Access Cats' Cupboard

Here is where you can find the sign-up form to access the pantry:  Questions? Visit the Cat's Cupboard website or contact

How to Find Nearby Food Resources

FreshTrak Find nearby food resources including food pantries and food banks using your zip code at

Bill Assistance: The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army of Athens & Meigs County

The Salvation Army provides limited financial assistance to low-income households struggling to meet a basic need.

How to Access the Salvation Army

You can contact The Salvation Army by calling 740-797-1305 to schedule an appointment or by emailing

Services Can Include:
  • Utility bills
  • Rent -Work-related expenses (such as vehicle repair)
  • Other related expenses related to basic needs
Populations This Program Serves
  • Adults 18+
  • Individuals
  • Families
  • Low-income households

Energy Assistance: Heap, PIPP, & HWAP

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a one-time benefit applied to your utility bill or bulk fuel bill. Eligibility is based on income:

HEAP Winter Crisis Program helps income eligible individuals maintain the utility services if you are facing utility disconnection, have been disconnected, or have 25% (or less) supply of bulk fuel in your tank. The program runs from November 1 until March 31. Eligibility is based on income:

HEAP Summer Crisis Program provides a one-time benefit to eligible individuals that can be used to pay utility bills, purchase air conditioners/fans, or repair central AC units during the summer months. The program runs from July 1 until September 30. Eligibility is based on many factors, including income, age, certain medical conditions, current standing with utility service, or participation in other energy assistance:

Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) helps eligible individuals manage their energy bills year-round. Payments are based on percentage of household income and consistent year-round. Eligibility is based on income and utility service provider. Both homeowners and renters are eligible for assistance:

How to Apply

One application for HEAP, PIPP, and HWAP Apply online or by mail by visiting or clicking here.

Here's What You'll Need to Apply

Proof of income for each household member Copies of your most recent utility bills A list of all household members Proof of U.S. citizenship/legal residency for all household members. Documents that are accepted include: Social Security Card, birth certificate, U.S. passport, naturalization paper/citizenship certification, permanent VISA, or INS ID card.


Broadband Assistance: ACP

ACP- the Affordable Connectivity Program, is a U.S. government program that helps ensure households can pay for broadband/internet service and connected devices like a laptop or tablet:

If eligible, the benefit could provide:

  • Up to $30/month discount toward internet service
  • Up to $75/month for households on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet (with a co-payment of $10 and less than $50)
  • A low-cost service plan that may be fully covered through the ACP

Here are ways your household can qualify:

  • Household income is at or below 200% of the poverty line
  • If you or your child/dependent participate in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, or other programs
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  • You can check if you qualify by visiting or clicking here.
How to Apply

Here are ways you can apply:

  • Go to to apply online
  • Print out a paper application to apply by mail
  • Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill. You can use the online tool to find a participating company near you. Participating companies can also help you apply through their company's application process.

Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete.

Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.

For a tutorial and steps on how to apply, visit or click here.

Additional Resources

Ohio Basic Needs Programs

Learn about other basic needs programs and community resources available including community meals and community food pantries by visiting or clicking here.

Regional Campus Resources

Learn about resources available nearby such as dental, health care, vision, food, and housing by visiting or clicking here.

Emergency Microgrants Resources  

*SPRING 2023 UPDATE:  Emergency microgrant funds are more limited than ever. Please carefully review the information below before submitting an application. Due to having such limited funds, all applicants are required to exhaust other resources available to them and outline in this resource guide before applying for an emergency microgrant. To learn more about the Emergency Microgrants click here.

Undergraduate Experiential Learning Funding 

Awards and grants are available to students’ completing internships, clinicals, student teaching, etc. Application information and deadlines can be found on the Ohio University Experiential Learning website here.

RISING SUNS Non-profit Pharmacy

Rising Suns is a free pharmacy that provides free medications to people who are uninsured or have limited insurance.

In order to utilize services, you must:

  • Reside in Athens, Morgan, Washington, Perry, Meigs, Hocking, or Vinton county
  • Be uninsured, without prescription drug coverage, or unable to afford prescription co-payments

You will be asked to fill out an Eligibility Attestation form prior to receiving your medications through their pharmacy. You may either fill out a printed form (located at the pharmacy) or the online form.You may call the pharmacy at 740-447-5025 or email with questions or to see if you qualify. You may also stop in at the pharmacy, although their hours vary. Please visit The pharmacy’s Facebook page, which lists the most current operating hours. 

General Resource Guides